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CGHS Biology - Succession

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by

Sean Holder

on 18 September 2015

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Transcript of CGHS Biology - Succession

Succession: How Ecosystems Change over time
Let's Explore Succession Types
"Ecological succession" is the observed process of change of an ecological community over time.
Think back to erosion and weathering
succession takes place when bare, lifeless substrate becomes available for colonization (VERY slow)
Primary Succession
The breaking down new substrate (rocks and dirt)
without vegetation and usually lacking soil.
Starting From Scratch
succession that follows disruption
of a pre-existing community
Secondary Succession
Climax Community
Characteristics of a Climax Community
Succession is a predictable process, by looking at what organisms are present in the ecosystem. You can tell its successional stage.
These changes increase biodiversity and ecosystem complexity
But there's more going on
Plants help break down the rocks into soil too, these are called pioneer species
re-colonization following disturbance (much faster than primary succession)
What makes succession happen?
Soil is already present, so there is no need for pioneer species;
Seeds, roots and underground vegetative organs of plants may still survive in the soil.
Why is this faster?
•Inhibition- species present change the environment and make it less suitable for themselves
•only species which can tolerate full range of conditions survive
•early succession species dominate because they have broader “tolerance ranges”
•Facilitation- species present change the environment and make it more hospitable for others
The final or stable community
Once a community is here, it
does not change...unless there is a disturbance
Individuals in the climax stage are replaced by others of the same kind.
The vegetation is tolerant of environmental conditions.
It has a wide diversity of species and complex food chains.
The climax ecosystem is balanced.
There is equilibrium:
between energy used and energy released
between nutrients taken from the soil and returned to the soil.
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